"some music was meant to stay underground..."

70000 Tons of Metal - The World's Biggest Heavy Metal Cruise

Artizan - "Artizan" (CD/EP)

Artizan - "Artizan" CD/EP cover image

"Artizan" track listing:

1. Fire
2. Game Within A Game
3. Rise

Reviewed by on May 6, 2010

"Playing a melodic, Maiden-ish metal, Florida's Artizan more than lives up to its name on the band's all-too-short three-song EP."

Sometimes there is such a thing as truth in advertising. Playing a melodic, Maiden-esque metal, Florida's Artizan more than lives up to its name on the band's all-too-short three-song EP.

The band features two founding members of the progressive metal act Leviathan, singer Tom Braden and drummer Ty Tammeus. They're joined by Hermanus Rombouts and Shamus McConney on lead and rhythm guitars, respectively, as well as Jon Jennings on bass.

The disc gets off to a great start, with a haunting acoustic guitar part on "Fire," quickly followed by Braden's excellent vocals. Braden's got a great voice, reminding me a little bit of a cross between Geoff Tate and Bruce Dickinson — not such a bad combination. "Fire" has an Iron Maiden feel, with a solo that's pure Adrian Smith and some great galloping guitar lines surrounding it.

Jennings gets his chance to shine in the beginning of "Game Within A Game," which starts slow and speeds up a bit as it goes. I love the flamenco-ish acoustic guitar break in the middle, and Tammeus' drum fills are also quite excellent.

"Rise" is the EP's most aggressive track, with an angry riff and deeper, darker vocals from Braden. It's also the shortest by more than two minutes, which essentially means the band gets down to the business of rocking quickly and doesn't deviate too far from the heaviness until an excellent guitar break that gives you a chance to catch your breath until Rombouts takes it away again with his most impressive solo yet.

My biggest complaint about this disc is that it left me wanting more. Artizan is currently looking for a label to help them complete their first full-length album, and based on this sample of their work, I hope they find one.

Highs: Three great songs, delivered masterfully.

Lows: None to speak of — save that 18 minutes flew by, leaving me wanting more.

Bottom line: An excellent sample of Maiden-esque melodic metal from an act that needs to put out a full-length album soon.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)